The Identity of Lines
I am a Karst woman, by my father. This is how Milena Gregorčič began our conversation, the author of the current exhibition at the Gallery of the New University. Her statement immediately anchored itself in my memory and accompanied me throughout our conversation about the history of the development of the author’s style – from her beginnings at the academy to her present works. Lines and shapes also reached into my memory, always present in her works, albeit in different ways, yet somehow connected.
Memory has this unusual property of unconsciously connecting what surrounds us, defining, and creating. Therefore, it is futile to emphasize that the author’s origin, her Karst roots, is what defines her works. However, this is by no means a transfer of the real landscape onto the artistic surface. As she herself emphasized, she sought ways at the academy to pour the forms of realism, bodily lines, into the forms and lines of abstraction. And all these lines, all these impressions, multi-layered and usually multicolored, merge on the primarily white surface like furrows and ridges of the Karst world, forming a language of memories for all of us individually.
Her compositions are built on a linear basis, with horizontal or vertical division of the surface, emphasizing linearity, defining it in a frieze where one can search for patterns of stone walls or dry vegetation, with an almost ancient touch of leafy and ornamental structures. The undulation of her surfaces recreates the meander of the uninterrupted line of human lives that walked and intertwined on the hard stone ground. Stone is the white foundation for all the color of Milena Gregorčič’s opus, as the white tones give us the impression of a limestone base.
The author has a graphic handwriting, characteristic of her black-and-white expressive artistic expression, where black stands as the opposite to white. Thus, her lines are often dark, black, like shadows, like Karst relief forms, hollows shaped by water. Water is also the basic medium of the author, through which she introduces strength, but also the softness and delicacy of color tones into her creative technique. In the author’s works, water materializes with its influence on the density and intensity of color, possessing its invisible power, just as our past and present play in the unconscious memory. Clear water is also transparent. The transparency of materials is another characteristic element of Milena Gregorčič’s artworks, and it can be found in various ways throughout her opus. Whether transparency is an allusion to water or simply the articulation of that part of memory where the imprints of our identities and origins lie is a question that everyone can explore in their imaginative world. With the exhibition at the Gallery of the New University under the auspices of the Faculty of Slovene and International Studies, which is dedicated to the study of Slovene linguistics – the origins and manifestations of Slovene culture – the question is undoubtedly relevant.
Doc. dr. Ines Vodopivec
About the author
Milena Gregorčič, Master of Arts and academic painter, was born in 1952 in Ljubljana. She attended the School of Design in Ljubljana, where she graduated from the graphics department. She continued her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana, specializing in painting, and graduated in 1976. She pursued postgraduate studies at the same Academy, specializing in graphics under the guidance of Prof. Marjan Pogačnik and Zvest Apollonio, earning her master’s degree in 1978.
In the field of contemporary visual arts, she is recognized as a painter, graphic artist, and designer, as evidenced by numerous exhibitions and diverse designs, ranging from comprehensive graphic images to 29 Slovenian postage stamps. She has received 26 national and international awards and recognitions for her work.
She has presented her works in 81 solo exhibitions and more than 500 group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, including cities such as Brno, Krakow, Klagenfurt, Udine, Subotica, Vrbas, Tuzla, Sarajevo, Novi Sad, Pančevo, Kyoto, Zrenjanin, San Giorgio, Karlovac, Zadar, Kragujevac, Zagreb, Novi Vinodolski, Bitola, Vienna, Belgrade, Arandjelovac, Nikšić, Cetinje, Rijeka, Trieste, Wroclaw, Bradford, Seoul, Paris, Semproniano, Brescia, Nürnberg, Kunsan City, Linz, Hiroshima, Maastricht, Tokyo, Varna, Prague, Giza-Cairo, Frederiksvaerk, Vilnius, Cadaqués, Chiddingly, Bages, Hillerød, Olkusz, Brussels, New York, and Stockholm.
Since 1976, she has been a member of the Association of Fine Artists Ljubljana within the Union of Slovene Fine Arts Associations. She lives and works in Ljubljana.